Much in the way that the 7-inch tablets were criticized as being too small to be considered a real tablet until the success of Amazon's Kindle Fire, Samsung's Galaxy Note (at 5.5-inches) was criticized as too big for a smartphone when it was shown at the CES (consumer electronic show) in Las Vegas. Once it and its successor the Galaxy Note II showed some success more companies have decided that this is the right direction to go and are now coming out with their own versions of what has been deemed “phablets” (bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a tablet). Apple was one of the first to jump on this new trend, although not to such an extreme, with their increasing the size of the iPhone to 4-inches. Since then Sony’s 5-incher, Huawei’s 6.1-inch and a few others have also joined in the rank of this new trend in mobile devices.
These “phablets” aren't exactly a new trend in handheld technology. In the early 1990's a company called Psion started a trend with their Series 3. Once again Apple was the first ones to jump on this new trend with their Newton that was released in 1992. The then CEO at Apple. John Scully, dubbed these new devices PDA's (personal data assistants). Soon other companies, such as, Nokia, Microsoft, Palm and others joined in on this new trend. The PDA's started to fall out of favor shortly after the turn of the century when smartphones came onto the market and hand a wider variety of applications that could run on them.
Now, over a dozen years since the hayday of the PDA's we see sometimes trends tend to circle back. Even though the new “phablets” are far and above in versatility and power they can still find their roots back in those PDA's form over 20 years ago.